Barrett student Erin Schulte wins prestigious Marshall Scholarship for graduate studies in the United Kingdom
She had interviewed for the scholarship, which completely funds two years of graduate study in the United Kingdom, on November 10 at the British consulate in Los Angeles and received a voice mail less than 24 hours later from a consular staffer offering her the scholarship.
“I convinced myself that they called the wrong number, so I called back to confirm, and a lady at the (British) consulate read the email the Marshall Committee sent saying I had been chosen. At that moment I was so overwhelmed and so grateful,” she said.
“I am honored they decided to invest in me and my future,” she added.
With a selection rate of about three percent, the Marshall Scholarship is among the world’s most competitive and prestigious fellowship programs, alongside the Rhodes Scholarship. Funded by the British government, the scholarship recognizes high-achieving American students by covering all expenses for up to two years of graduate study in their program of their choice, with the goal of nurturing future leaders and strengthening British-American collaborations. The 30 or so students selected each year out of pool of nearly 1,000 applicants are not only some of the greatest young intellects in the U.S., but also promising young leaders and innovators.
Schulte will graduate in May from Arizona State University with a major in global studies with honors from Barrett, the Honors College at ASU. In September 2017 she will begin her tenure as a Marshall Scholar at King’s College London and pursue dual master’s degrees in Conflict, Security & Development and Big Data in Culture & Society.
“The Marshall is where I think I’ll get the skills that will help me in my career,” she said, adding that she envisions working in the field of international aid and development, in an organization such as the World Bank.
“It is important to bring big data into the discussion around international aid issues and ensure that projects are data-driven and focused,” she said.
Schulte has an impressive undergraduate resume. She has been a student leader in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, a finalist in the Arizona Collegiate Venture Competition, and a Clinton Global Initiative University 2015 commitment-maker, as well as a participant in the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict Undergraduate Research Fellows Program.
She is best known at ASU, however, as the co-founder of the All Walks Project, a student-led nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting vulnerable populations in the United States and around the world from human trafficking. The organization uses a peer-to-peer education model and is supported by community partnerships and funding, including the McCain Institute.
All Walks Project won 1st place and an award of $27,500 in the Pakis Social Entrepreneurship Challenge last year. It also was chosen as a Top 20 Venture in the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Edson Entrepreneur Initiative at ASU. The Project’s co-founder, Jessica Hocken, was awarded a prestigious Schwarzman Scholarship last year and is currently studying at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China.
April Miller, honors faculty fellow at Barrett Honors College served as Schulte’s thesis director and sings her praises.
“While pursuing her thesis, I was frequently impressed by Erin's consummate professionalism and how she incorporated volunteerism, learning, and discovery into every aspect of her scholarship,” Miller said.
“She embodies incredibly strong leadership and possesses incredibly sound researcher skills. She's both passionate and practical; in other words, she knows how to take those lofty goals for which ambitious undergraduate students are often known and make them realizable, whether they’re the goals of a researcher or those of a non-profit community organizer,” she added.
Schulte received assistance with her Marshall Scholarship application from the Lorraine W. Frank Office of National Scholarship Advisement (ONSA), which is housed at Barrett Honors College.
“Erin is entirely deserving of this award, not only for her remarkable academic and intellectual achievements, but for her extraordinary service and leadership,” said Kyle Mox, ONSA director.
“One of the qualities that sets Erin apart is her ability to see the ‘big picture’ – she identifies problems, discovers resources, and puts those resources into action. She will be a leader in the global non-profit sector because of her ability to not only coordinate these types of efforts, but to build strong coalitions of like-minded people to collaboratively solve the world’s ‘Big Problems.’ We need more people like her,” he said.
Since the Marshall Scholarship’s inception in 1954, a total of 18 ASU students have been awarded Marshall Scholarships. Prior to Schulte's selection, the most recent Marshall Scholars were Madeline Sands in the 2014 competition year and Madeline Grade in the 2012 competition year.
Read more about Erin here.